The Wandering Jew is another one of those easy to grow plants that can grow as a houseplant in a window or in your garden as a trailing or filler plant. This plant grows fast and the brighter the room the more purple the plant is. My Wandering Jew is growing in an East window and has tripled in size and blooming (it is winter too). I water it every other day with about a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of rain water with diluted fertilizer. It is true that you fertilize once a month and not in the fall and winter but for the last 3 months I have been watering all my blooming ‘annuals’ (such as Purple Heart, Tropical Hibiscus, and Gardenia) with a diluted fertilizer and have had great success with blooms in the house.
Diluted fertilizer is very acceptable for many blooming plants. I dilute 1/4 of the required fertilizer per gallon of water and I took this from my Orchid care. Orchids require regular fertilizing to get blooms so I thought why wouldn’t it work for my overwintering annuals. Be careful not to over fertilize (and do not fertilize houseplants such as Schefflera, Philodrendron, or any other green non blooming houseplant in the fall or winter when they want to be dormant).
The purple Wandering Jew has leaves with silvery stripes making it very striking in hanging baskets and planters. The one drawback to the Wandering Jew is that it needs to be snipped to keep it full. It also has a tendency to get very leggy and ugly if left alone. It roots easily in water and it is one plant to share with everyone. All you need to do is clip about a 4″ piece and stick it in the vase, jar, or glass for a couple weeks or months. Do not worry sometimes it can take a few weeks for roots and if the bottoms of the cuttings start to turn brown in the water, just snip those off and start over.
As you can see it has pretty light purple blooms in the axil of the leaves at the end of the stems. There are several buds clustered which usually bloom one at a time for one day and not necessarily each day. The Wandering Jew will tolerate drying out and needs to be rotated otherwise it will fill out and grow towards the light leaving you with a lopsided plant. I would grow this a bright room or in morning sun or late afternoon sun in the garden. It will also grow in light shade but the color of the leaves will not be as brilliant.
The green Wandering Jew (also known as Tradescantia fluminensis) can tolerate a lower light room and has the same care as the pretty purple and silver striped leaves of the very common Wandering Jew. If the leaves start to get brown tips, then you may need to mist the plant and/or water more frequently.
Having houseplants and overwintering plants inside can be very rewarding. The Wandering Jew is one plant that really looks nice hanging in a window or sitting on a table cascading over. One small plant is all you need to start.
Thanks for stopping and let me know if you have one as a houseplant or as a garden plant.
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2016 copyrighted material C Renee Fuller @The Garden Frog Boutique